I started to wonder what's wrong with me. I saw a nice press photo of a handsome man with a bottle of transparent liquid in his hand. It is water of course, but I saw instantly a bottle of vodka. Why is that so?
Because I'm a Finn. I am obviously not used to see a man with a bottle of water because in Finland people tend to have vodka or other transparent spirits in their pocket flasks. And how sad is that.
Some facts about Finland:
In Finland we have lots of lakes (187 888).
Almost every Finn has a sauna.
We have lots and lots of hard, I mean really hard, swearwords.
We have very high quantity use of depression medicals and coffee.
Our suicide rate is the second highest in Europe.
On average every Finn consumes almost 1 litres of vodka every week.
And that is true.
Alcohol kills about 3,000 Finns every year. About 400 Finns die of alcohol poisoning each year, it's almost as much people killed annually in road accidents in Finland.
A while ago I saw a glimpse of a BBC World broadcasting, where they showed some very drunken youths wandering around the streets of Helsinki. I read also an article where it was said that normally boys tend to drink more than girls. Only in the Isle of Man, Finland, and Norway the gender distribution is about equal. Now I start to understand why I find the Fast Show so funny. We're from the Isle of Man.
We don't tend to drink just one glass of wine or a bottle of beer. We buy a twelve-pack of beer ("a dachshund") and drink it in the park, in the streets, in the train. There's no shame in public drunkenness. Then we go to the pre-party, drink some more and AFTER that we go to the bar. A popular (read: only) way of enjoying alcohol is to drink until you collapse.
Then the confession: I can't drink anymore.
When I was about 20-something I could drink a half a bottle of Fernet Branca and have party afterwards. Not anymore.
A year ago I was in a bar with Mr.Fox and his friend who offered me several shots. I drank them all and then collapsed several times to strange gateways.
Finally I sat front of the very public building, where I used to work previously. I sat in their bed of flowers and waved madly to my son's godfathers, who were sitting in a glass-walled restaurant front of us.
Day after I had to take my jacket to the dry-cleaners and since then I've tried to keep on drinkin a glass of chianti instead.
So even if I see vodka instead of water, I have no longer finnish drinking habits.
Maybe I'm not a Finn after all. I don't even fancy ice-hockey.
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